Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

McCain and the press

with one comment

John Cole brings up the interesting question of why McCain continually gets a free ride from the press, which ignores his gaffes in favor of focusing on missteps by Obama. And the number of outright fumbles and weird statements from McCain is truly startling—to the extent that one begins to wonder whether he’s not suffering from a mild dementia as in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, ThinkProgress notes:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) regularly hypes the threat posed by Iran, saying they are “intent on acquiring nuclear weapons” and even attacking Democrats for allegedly not recognizing “the threat posed by an Iran with nuclear ambitions.” But when ABC’s Charlie Gibson asked McCain yesterday if an Israeli strike against Iran would be “jusified” in light of Iran’s recent missile tests, McCain said that he couldn’t determine “the nature of the threat” from Iran:

GIBSON: Would a strike by Israel be justified and what would you say to the Israelis?

MCCAIN: I can’t know whether a strike would be justified because I don’t know the progress or the significance or the nature of the threat. I know the threat is growing because of the continued development of nuclear weapons.

Later in the interview, however, McCain insisted that the Iranian threat was nevertheless “serious.” As Matt Duss notes: “McCain has repeatedly demonstrated that, regardless of whatever experience or judgment he may possess, he simply hasn’t done his homework on the region of the world most likely to command the next administration’s attention.”

It doesn’t seem to me that he hasn’t done his homework. It sounds more like he can’t remember his briefings anymore.

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2008 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Election, GOP

One Response

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  1. John McCain is a great man who has served our country with great sacrifice. I have tremendous respect for him. I hope if he wins, he will realize that without engaging Iran, there can only be more conflict. As Colin Powell remarks in his insightful article “The Craft of Diplomacy,” we have to leave our enemy an honorable path of retreat.

    While diplomacy with Iran may have its challenges, it should be pursued at every length. Iran has a conscription army and nearly 10 million eligible males between the ages of 18 and 32 (Posen, 2003). Iran’s conventional military potential aside, US Intelligence assesses that Iran will likely have nuclear weapons capability within the decade (Select Committee on Intelligence, 2006).

    “Je vois plus que jamais qu’il ne faut juger de rien sur sa grandeur apparente.” – Voltaire

    We should be careful what we assume about Iran, or any country.

    The United States needs to be very aware of Iran’s growing political influence in the international community as well. In a sermon commencing the month of Ramadan 2007, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the Bush administration of war crimes in Iraq, and of attempting to undermine Islam in the Middle East. Amidst chants from worshipers: “Death to America,” Khamenei stated that he has a firm belief that one day this current US president and the American officials will be tried in a fair international court for the atrocities committed in Iraq.

    American popularity worldwide has plummeted over the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Khameinei’s words are falling upon a rising number of sympathetic ears. Any inclination the Bush administration has toward regime change in Iran should be given very, very careful thought. Ultimately, the situation confronting the United States regarding Iran is identical in many respects to the threat of terrorism itself:

    A clash of cultures, a stubborn battle of wills, two very different ways of looking at the same reality, a global game of chicken in which neither side wants to back down. This of course is a gross oversimplification of a very complex problem, but there are some basic truths to the argument.

    The United States and Europe are largely divided on their views of Iran, as well as their views of how best to counter terrorism. One of the greatest challenges facing the United States in its efforts to counter terrorism, is learning to understand those who resort to its use, and developing a coherent construct within which to address terrorism.

    The same can be said of Iran. And few can argue that there is no small amount of testosterone in the air, and this stubbornness can be seen on both sides of the standoff. Henry Kissinger has aptly stated that so long as Iran views itself as a crusade rather than a nation, a common interest will not emerge from negotiations. But this observation is equally applicable to the Bush administration as well.

    Puor bien savoir les choses, il en faut savoir le detail, et comme il est presque infini, nos connaissances sont toujours superficielles et imparfaites.

    Unfortunately, what we do know is that the Bush administration cannot be trusted to do what it says. Iraq taught us that lesson. Many experts have long been predicting that Bush would invade Iran before he leaves office. But of course, the Bush administration would never admit to such a thing.

    On ne donne rien si liberalement que ses conseils.

    But it is the man who follows his own counsel, he’s the one that should lead.

    John Maszka

    11 July 2008 at 6:53 pm

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